Department of Epidemiology, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indianapolis, Indiana; IU Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana. Electronic address: [Email]
BACKGROUND : Previous studies have found familial aggregation of melanoma and keratinocyte cancers (KCs). OBJECTIVE : We sought to determine the risk of melanoma and KCs in those with a positive family history of melanoma while controlling for pigmentary and environmental risk factors. METHODS : We prospectively followed 216,115 participants from the Nurses' Health Study, Nurse's Health Study 2, and Health Professionals Follow-up Study for more than 20 years. Cox proportional hazards regression controlling for known risk factors for skin cancer was used to estimate association between family history of melanoma and melanoma and KCs. RESULTS : Compared with those without a family history of melanoma, individuals with a family history of melanoma had a 74% increased risk of melanoma (hazard ratio [HR], 1.74; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.45-2.09), a 22% increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma (HR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.06-1.40), and a 27% increased risk of basal cell carcinoma (HR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.12-1.44). Family history of melanoma increased the risk of development of truncal melanoma in both sexes, extremity melanoma in women, and extremity squamous cell carcinoma in women. CONCLUSIONS : Limitations of this study include self-reported family history and detection bias. CONCLUSIONS : Individuals with a family history of melanoma are at an increased risk of melanoma and KCs.